Retaining Walls Installation: Essential Considerations When Using Timber

Wooden Wall

Retaining walls are useful for flattening sloppy lawns and creating extra spaces in your backyard. They also improve the aesthetics of a place by providing spaces for interesting features, from flower boxes to raised gardens. Whatever the reason for creating one, it needs to be done well to keep it intact. Creating a good design and adhering to critical elements is essential in making the wall last long.

When installing wooden retaining walls for your Waikato home, here are things to bear in mind:

Construction Method

In most cases, timber retaining walls are less than four feet tall. There are two basic construction methods you can choose. In one, posts anchored in concrete and horizontal planks are used. This is most suitable when you want your walls to double as raised gardens. The other method uses large timbers that are reinforced using steel rods.


Waterproofing wooden walls is essential. Compared with concrete and block walls, wooden retaining walls are more vulnerable to water damage. The moisture in the soil increases the wooden walls’ chances of rotting while the weight they support increases lateral pressure. These elements are bound to cause failure and reduce the lifespan of the wall if not handled well. Make sure to use timber that is treated with preservatives against rot and apply a waterproof sheet to the back side of the wall.


Since timber is vulnerable to water damage, paying attention to water drainage is vital as it helps in controlling hydrostatic pressure which could cause bulging of the wall. Consider where your yard drainage is and direct it away from the wall. Backfilling the space behind the wall could also help. Another option is to install perforated pipe on the bottom of the wall to drain the water.

A well-designed retaining wall can last up to 20 years. But, issues with the construction process may undermine its effectiveness. Pay attention to the above elements for a long-lasting wall.